Saturday, November 10, 2007

COSI as a charter school?

That's the idea of Jack Ford, a COSI board member and newly elected (to fill the seat he was appointed to) Toledo School Board member.

According to today's paper, Ford suggested to Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and COSI board president David Waterman that TPS could take over the building and make it into a charter-type school focusing on science and math during the day while leaving it open to the public for visits and exhibitions during the afternoon, evenings and weekends.

I think the idea of a charter school focusing on math and science is a great idea. And it would make sense if we don't already have one in the Toledo/Lucas County area.

But ....

One of the biggest problems COSI faces is the HVAC costs because of the design of the building. If TPS is going to invest taxpayer dollars for a math/science charter school, the COSI building is certainly NOT the most economical nor efficient building to select, even if they were able to get $1 million in other tax money from the city, the state or the federal government.

Besides, this really has nothing to do with the need or the offering of a charter school - this is all about how to save COSI, which the voters have said - TWICE - they don't want their tax dollars used to save.

And it doesn't matter which tax dollars they use for this building - school, city, state or federal - they're all still tax dollars and the voters have said NO.

Just what part of NO do they not understand?

(prediction: The Blade will jump all over this idea as a good solution to saving COSI and the downtown.)


Tim Higgins said...


I couldn't agree more that a school focusing on math and science would be a great thing in Toledo (or anywhere else for that matter), but as they say in real estate: "location, location, location". Is this the best location for such a school or are we, as you say, merely trying to find a way to save COSI?

... and then there are the questions:

1. Would the city continue to provide this building at $1 per year rent?
2. Would Toledo Edison continue to defer the utility bills?
3. Who will be responsible for the COSI business plan if this happens?
4. Who will have final authority, the COSI board, or the school board?

Making this a school would put COSI on the taxpayers back forever. Maybe we need to send a message to newly-elected school board member Jack Ford that if he pushes this, we will remember when the next school levy comes up. Let's see if he wants to play chicken with the welfare of "the children".

Maggie Thurber said...

Wow, Tim - you play hard ball.

I like it!

Tim Higgins said...


I don't know if I play hardball or not, but I am never against throwing a spitball in a just cause.

Robin said...

I'm thinking that if they were to do this, they would have to find a new location, or a satellite location for the actual school.

I really don't like this idea. It seems to me that the emphasis is too much on getting tax dollars to support COSI. I don't understand a school board member pushing a charter school idea, when all I ever hear from TPS is how evil charter schools are.

Really... these people need to find a new way to raise funds. Someone needs to get off of his/her butt and start a penny drive or maybe they could try selling better items in their gift shop.

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